Because Jesus sought to find me so I could truly live, redeemed in love. This is my life: the questions, ramblings, adventures, prayers, and thoughts, all with Jesus, from here and into eternity. Welcome to the stories.
but it is glorious beyond what I would have ever been able to dream for myself. Though 2013 has proven to be one of the toughest seasons of my faith thus far, I have seen the refinement the Lord has done in my life. I never would have thought that at 23 I would find myself post college back at home with my parents for a season. Many who know me well know that I have longed to serve and work in Thailand since early on in college. And that dream is at my doorstep but it is still a dream yet fulfilled.
Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” I can’t exactly explain the feeling of what ‘hope deferred’ feels like but it is something like “blissful hopeful disappointment” if that can even be possible. Let me explain.
I never would have imagined the passion and desire in my heart to serve in Thailand would be as large of a flame as it is right now burning inside my heart. When the Lord began speaking to me about Thailand in 2008 it was merely the excitement of the blossoming world traveler in me that loved the idea of living there one day. But month after month, year after year it became a precious dream to me. I began to weep and pray and intercede for the people of Thailand. For the countless voiceless Thai children who are lied to and violated as they are prey in the horrible web of human trafficking every single day. I switched my major to study sociology so I would have the tools to one day be an effective part of ending human trafficking. I moved across the country to intern with an organization that focuses on finding missing and exploited children. Then a year later I graduated college and left the comfort of beautiful California and moved to the Midwest to be part of a prayer and missions movement focused on bringing the unreached into the Kingdom of God. Now, I am on the brink of a dream fulfilled as I continue this journey to Thailand. But it is nothing like I thought it would look like. In fact, to my flesh, it feels a little disappointing.
In all honesty, this whole journey to Thailand is nothing like I thought it would look like. Looking back now I can see how Jesus so perfectly orchestrated every experience in college and the year beyond to bring me to this point. But it hasn’t been easy. The road has been marked with many different trials- saying yes to Jesus when most of my friends and family didn’t understand, taking a stand for the Lord’s leadership in front of friends who didn’t quite understand me, moving across the country by myself into an unknown future, and much more. I so feared being misunderstood in my walk with the Lord because of the little steps of obedience He was asking me to take that didn’t quite compare to the journey most of my friends seemed to be on. But the Lord found a willing heart in mine, and to me that seemed like the most unlikely place. I am too strong willed, too stubborn, too set in my ways to enjoy anything that doesn’t have a clear outcome ahead of time. But I found myself time after time saying yes to Jesus because I just need more of Him. My walk with Jesus became less about what Jesus could do for me and more about simply who He is. He is The Worthy One and has an unbelievably sweet love for me that is unparallelled to anything else this world can offer. And now I still find that His love compels me to keep saying yes to the unknown.
I’ve realized that my life really isn’t a story I am writing by the choices that I make but one that He is continually creating as I continue to say yes to His invitations. Even when they don’t make sense to my always-plan-ahead brain, because He is the most excellent author. So while my flesh may seem this unknown time of preparation as disappointment(which really just shows that I want what I want more than I want what He wants for me) my heart and spirit is so alive in blissful, hopeful, anticipation about all the Lord has in store for me for He is faithful to complete the good work He has started.
Right now I find myself back at home with my parents, something I promised myself I would never do after college but now am incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to be back for a time, thousands of miles away from my best friend, watching my other friends in the nations truly living the way they do inside their dreams, with an unknown date to my departure to Thailand. This current season is a matter of saying yes to the Lord amidst what I don’t understand. And I have to admit I haven’t always chosen well. There were days when I spent more time with the TV then I did with Jesus, days when I questioned His leadership in my life because I missed my friends, and days when the loneliness seemed to be too much to bear. But then there are the days where His presence is the most real thing about my day. Days where His love, leadership, and friendship are so precious to me that all I can do is worship. Days when I recognize His faithful presence in my life is producing something so weighty and so glorious in me that I just have to stop and say, “thank You, Jesus.”
And now I just chuckle at the fact that this season, while hard for me amidst a season of promises yet fulfilled but on their way, is in fact an answer to my own prayer. Two years ago my main prayer to Jesus was “I want to love You when it is inconvenient.” I wanted a faith that could withstand a storm not one that was dependent on living on the mountaintop. And the Lord answered that prayer by sending me across the country to the Midwest for a season of intense refinement, self realization, and incredible joy learned through pain. In 2013 my prayer to the Lord was, “I want to experience deep friendship with Jesus,” not realizing that friendship with Jesus like I desired means letting go of things I’ve held on too tightly too in this world. This season of waiting, away from my community, support network, and friends, is an opportunity to choose to embrace deep, rich, invigorating intimate friendship with Jesus like I have yet to even know. I pray that I can continue choosing the embrace of Jesus as He continues to write the story of my life so faithfully and so perfectly.
This is my friend Maddie’s photo from her recent trip to South Asia. As I look at pictures my heart starts to long to be in this place already. I know life is going to look very different. I know I am going to be uncomfortable and have a lot of adjusting to do. But the Gospel must be preached. And lives must be saved. Here’s to two wonderful years about to unfold!
The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time
-Carl F.H. Henry.
A quote that has convinced me time and time again that there is no better time than now for me to go into the nations with the Good News of Jesus. How can they know if they cannot hear? Thankful for the opportunity to move to Southeast Asia in pursuit of Jesus :)
I’m currently sitting at my gate at the Oakland airport getting ready to board soon and I can’t believe the time has come to go back to Kansas City already. After an incredible week revisiting Davis and experiencing Gods faithfulness in a place that taught me so much about Him, I’m excited to begin this next season of like. Two weeks touring CA college campuses to call students to missions, three months of training and the prayer room and then a 2 year deployment for overseas missions. How did I get to be so blessed to do the work that I do? ‘Missionary’ was never a common word in my vocabulary but now it’s the only job title I see fitting in this season of life. Thank You Lord for encountering my heart and leading me to make Your Name famous in the nations. May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of His sufferings.
Ekballo: to violently expel, to send, to thrust forth.
Lord of the Harvest, ekballo laborers to the harvest field.
Traveling through Africa and praying as I go. Life will never be the same. Praise The Lord!
This is the A-Team. My family. The forerunners. We are going into the hardest and darkest places because Jesus is worthy. Two teams left today, my team and two others leave tomorrow. One final team on Wednesday. Pray for us. It’s a privilege to be doing this work with Jesus with this company. My heart is full.